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Rocky Road Towards Sustainable Livelihoods: Land reform in Free State, South Africa, The

The political changes in South Africa since 1990, referred to by Human (1998) as a ‘negotiated revolution’, culminated in the election of the first democratic government in 1994. This introduced a process of dramatic policy change and continued policy development. The policy changes have been driven by the new government through its Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP). The RDP is a long term, people-centred programme designed to redress the imbalances created by apartheid, with the intended result of empowered, self-reliant people and communities able to take charge of their own lives and development (ANC, 1994). Central to the RDP is the process of land reform and a reorientation in the focus and objectives of the agricultural sector. This paper examines the policy and organisational changes undertaken to achieve this reform, and taking a case study from Free State, assesses the success of the reforms in bringing about sustainable livelihoods.

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